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Red Cross To Assist Communities Affected By Winter Storm

American Red Cross
An added threat we see during extreme weather is the risk of home fires.

With millions of Greater NY residents in the path of this late January nor'easter, the American Red Cross is leaning forward to assist communities who may be impacted by storm-related emergencies.

Weather experts predict the storm could bring intense snowfall and blizzard conditions, combined with tropical storm force winds, extremely low temperatures and coastal flooding. An added threat we see during extreme weather is the risk of home fires. With the likelihood of large-scale power outages and damaged homes, the Red Cross has spent the last several days coordinating with local emergency partners, pre-positioning relief supplies and mobilizing thousands of volunteers to respond to the humanitarian needs that may arise.

This assistance will consist of operating and/or supporting emergency shelters for displaced residents or those left without power, distributing food and relief supplies to local communities as well as providing emotional and physical health support.

This winter storm comes on the heels of several large-scale home fires in our region which the Red Cross responded to, including a massive blaze in Edgewater, N.J. that left nearly 500 families homeless.

Given the predictions, we advise all in the storm’s path to take the threat seriously and to be safe. Below are a few safety tips to follow:

• Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm.

• Be extremely careful if you have to shovel snow. Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.

• Watch for hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia symptoms include confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. Frostbite symptoms include numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness, or waxy feeling skin.

• Don’t forget your pets – bring them indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.

• Heating fires are the second leading cause of home fires. Be safe when heating your homes particularly with fire places and space heaters. For home heating safety tips, click here.

• Download the American Red Cross First Aid App for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. This free app is available in your app store. See all Red Cross apps at redcross.org/mobileapps

You can help people affected by disasters like winter storms and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNY.